Our vacation was so achingly full of beauty it almost felt like drinking from a fire hose. When you live in the mountain country that we used to live in, you take for granted the beauty and nature all around you. Step out the front door and be greeted by sunrises that make you want to cry, hear the whisper of the river. You forget how rare it is. Those aged, smoky mountains worn down to hills will always be a bit of home for us.
Some of our favorite people in the whole wide world live there, too, and we come home with our cups full of fellowship and laughter with the people that love us wide and deep and true.
I don’t have to tell you how much it was needed, do I, after this harum scarum year?
All the same, as beautiful as it was, it was also hard and exhausting by its turns. We knew that taking this vacation was going to be very different than the ones we took before. We knew that the littles’ chronic medical issues would shift the dynamic…I just don’t think we really realized how much. I don’t think James and I realized just how truly depleted and exhausted we had become over this last year. Things that were once simple just aren’t anymore. A wide margin of down time is absolutely necessary now- in some ways the littles’ tire much quicker now then they did when they were younger due to their unique needs, and it means we have to shuffle and adjust in ways that most families normally wouldn’t. We also have to budget our own energy better, and it is perhaps this dynamic that I was least expecting for the trip. It isn’t much wonder that three of us fell ill the day after returning home. Gratefully, James had already planned for us to have ample reboot and recovery time built into the schedule before he returned to work, so it was much less of a difficulty than it normally would be. This, too, is a learning curve.
For all that, it was so lovely…such a deep, deep gift. I know that we all will carry our time with us through the weeks and months to come, a little bit of peace to tuck in our pockets.